September 4, 2023

Local Sustainable Merino Wool Collaboration

POLO South Africa has collaborated with Gerber & Co to produce their first-ever 100% locally produced and manufactured men’s knitwear collection made from South African merino wool. This partnership holds immense significance as it establishes an integrated value chain that spans from wool production to finished garments, highlighting the true essence of sustainability.

Alia Peer of POLO South Africa and Stefan Gerber of Gerber & Co collaborated on the AW23 Polo Sustainable South African Merino Wool Collection.

The fashion brand’s Creative Director, Alia Peer, says that the collaboration with Gerber & Co is important because the integrated value chain means that the merino wool was produced in South Africa and spun and knitted in South Africa through a unique farm-to-closet supply chain.

This collaboration is part of POLO South Africa’s Polo Purpose initiative, which is focused on People, Planet, and Product. This initiative is exploring projects that support more job creation locally in South Africa.

Deon Saayman, CEO of Cape Wools, says, “Globally, South Africa is the highest-certified sustainable wool supplier to the whole world.

Although South African wool is known globally for the best quality and sustainability, very little of this is making it into the local market.

Only if we have support from local retailers do we have the ability to make a difference in the local industry.”

The result of this collaboration is a capsule collection of quality, timeless menswear essentials made from merino wool, known for its natural warmth and softness. Each garment is labelled with a year that corresponds to the wool vintage; this is linked back to the date of shearing and adds to the traceability of the collection. Additionally, the wool is certified by the Responsible Wool Standard (the international certified body) and the Sustainable Cape Wool Standard of South Africa, which is the highest local standard.

The AW23 Polo Sustainable South African Merino Wool Collection includes two styles of jumpers: a quarter zip and a full zip-through knit. They are available in a neutral colour palette, including un-dyed wool, charcoal, and olive.